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Foreign Minister Urmas Paet: Estonia Supports Kosovo in Developing Country and Integrating With EU

12.06.2012

Nr 170–E

In his meeting with Speaker of the Parliament of Kosovo Jakup Krasniq in Tallinn, Foreign Minister Urmas Paet confirmed Estonia’s support for Kosovo’s development and integration with Europe. Paet said that Estonia feels it is important to support the development of Kosovo and contribute to the work of international forces in the country. “Currently Estonia has five experts in the European Union rule of law mission EULEX in Kosovo as well as one officer in the NATO peacekeeping mission,” said Paet.

According to Foreign Minister Urmas Paet, Estonia feels it is positive that a visa dialogue has been started between the EU and Kosovo and that a feasibility study for a Stabilisation and Association Agreement is being done. “It is essential to achieve a visa waiver between the European Union and Kosovo, considering Kosovo is the only Western Balkan country whose citizens require a visa to travel to the EU. We also support establishing treaty relations between the EU and Kosovo by concluding a trade agreement and a framework agreement that would allow participation in EU programmes,” he added.

Estonia supports Kosovo’s integration with the EU. “It’s a long-term process that requires focused dedication from Kosovo in carrying out reforms. Estonia remains ready to share its experiences with building up its state and integrating into the European Union with Kosovo. Functioning democratic institutions and the implementation of rule of law are key factors,” stated Paet. Currently the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences, together with Finnish partners, is carrying out a project to develop national security-related higher education in Kosovo.

Paet and Krasniq also spoke about Kosovo’s relations with its neighbouring countries. Paet stated that it is essential to continue the dialogue between Belgrade and Pristina and to carry out the agreements made thus far. “Normalising relations between Kosovo and Serbia is of key importance for the stability of the region,” Paet added.

 

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